Dedicated to performing a variety of choral literature, specifically major works

Bel Canto Chorale was founded in 1969 by Kirk M. Dunklee. When he retired, he handed his baton to Eric Seyfried who retired in 2002. Mr Seyfried was followed by Virginia Santos, Brad Ford and Herbert Bradensten. Our present conductor, Gregory Mercer is in his ninth season.

Bel Canto is dedicated to performing a variety of choral literature, specifically major works. While most of our chorus members live in south Nassau County, we do have members from a broad stretch of Long Island, and includes adults of all aged and backgrounds. The main criterion for membership is a sincere love for music.

Many of the major works performed have been accompanied by chamber orchestras and brass ensembles. They have included Carmina Burana (Orff), Lord Nelson Mass (Haydn), King David (Honegger), Messiah ( Handel), To St. Cecelia (Dello-Joio), Requiem (Mozart). Requiem ( Brahms), Gloria (Rutter), Missa Brevis (Kodaly), Dona Nobis Pachem ( Ralph Vaughan Williams), Nanie (Brahms), Rejoice in the Lamb (Benjamin Britten), Missa Sancti Nicolai (Haydn), Mass in G (Schubert), Gloria (Vivaldi), Magnificat ( Buxtehude), Mass in Time of War (Haydn).

The Chorale sang Carmina Burana in a joint concert with the Mid-Hudson Camerata Chorale at Freeport High School and in Poughkeepsie. Several years ago the Chorale was joined by St Peter’s-by-the-Sea Children’s Choir and the West Islip Symphony Orchestra for a series of performances of Carmina Burana. With the West Islip Symphony and the Northport Chorale we performed Mozart’s Requiem in a series of concerts. The Chorale has also toured England and Austria and performed Dona Nobis Pachem and the Messiah at Carnegie Hall.